Typical Tree Form 1 -4

Most typical bonsai tree shapes are a reflection of nature. Shaping your tree in a free manner is one of the ways to enjoy it, however, in order to gain true knowledge of bonsai, it’s good to imagine the desirable form based on one of your favorite basic shapes. By knowing common tree shapes you will be able to appreciate and enjoy various works. Here we will introduce 9 typical forms that can be shaped easily, even by the beginners.

1 Chokkan (Straight trunk)

It resembles a primeval forest tree growing towards the sky. Its crown is shaped into an isosceles triangle. Because it is a simple shape, it requires good branch arrangement. This shape is suitable for coniferous trees.

 Shaping tips

  1. The trunk narrows toward the top.
  2. Trim the crown into an isosceles triangle.
  3. Branches get thinner in the upper part and the spaceong between the branches becomes narrower.
  4. Lower the main branches by wire forming, raising th brach tip.
  5. Increaes twigs on each branch to make a branch group.
  6. Extend the roots in all directions.
  7. Plant in a shallow pot.

2 Shakan (Oblique trunk)

It looks like a tree growing in the diagonal direction in the search of light. Make it bend either left or right by pruning or wiring, and plant it so that the trunk grows diagonally.

 Shaping tips

  1. Tilt the trunk to the left or right.
  2. Trim the crown in the shape of the scalene triangle.
  3. Lengthen the branch in the inclined direction.
  4. Direct the first brunch somewhat downwards and the tip upwards.
  5. Increase the group of the branch on the inclined side.
  6. Keep the balance with branches on the opposite side flow.

3 Soukan (Pair trunk)

A tree form in which large and small trunks stand from the root. A large trunk is called a parent, small one is called child, In this way it can be presented to the appearance of parents and couples cuddling up. By having two, depth and spread are created in the landscape.

Making tips

  1. The height and the amount of brunches and leaves are put stress on the main trunk.  Both trunks should be Stood upright or flowed in the same direction
  2. Don’t intersect a big brunch between the main and  the vice-trunk.
  3. Trim an outline to the scalene triangle.

4 Moyougi (Curved Tree)

You can enjoy shaping beautiful bonsai called green art. A big trunk becomes thinner with winding as it goes up, And brunches also become thinner. It is required that the roots spread steadily.


Making tips

  1. The head is on the straight line of the root.
  2. The trunk curves back, forth, right and left, and becomes narrower as it goes upwards
  3. Set the branches alternaly left and right, and trim them smaller as they go up. Reduce the distance between branches
  4. Increase size of brunch group.
  5. Trim an outline to the scalene triangle.
  6. Extend the roots in all directions.